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Paul Lee Professional Development Grants

Who was Paul Lee?

Paul Lee (1947-2008)

“Paul Lee was a champion of the professional development grant program, making it his mission to mentor faculty at Blue Ridge. He is a shining example of the difference a mentor can make, and in his 18 years as division dean of business and humanities he personified leadership, always encouraging others to pursue a greater
standard of excellence.”

Nancy Harris 
VCCS Office of Professional Development


Faculty professional development is essential for faculty and student learning. Awards for new and on-going professional development are available to all VCCS community college faculty and staff. Opportunities for professional development grants include the following areas:

  • Discipline development – builds knowledge and skills within the academic discipline or professional specialty.
  • Instructional development – improves classroom teaching, learning, and assessment techniques.
  • Career development – provides tools for effective personal planning to improve the quality of work and life.
  • Organizational development – enhances administrative and leadership skills to fulfill the institutional mission of the community college.


Steps to Apply

Step 1: Submit the VCCS Paul Lee Professional Grant Application (online only). We suggest using the templateicon provided to first fine tune your proposal in draft form, then cut-and-paste into the online application. Once your application is successfully accepted into the database, you will immediately receive a confirmation page to print for your records.

Step 2: Complete the VCCS Paul Lee Professional Grant Application Cover Pageicon (PDF email attachment only – must contain signatures). Consult the list of College Grant Contactsicon requiring applications to first go through their designated grants person.

Step 3: Following review by the Professional Development Committee (PDC) Grants Committee, you will be notified by emailed PDF letter if accepted or not.

Step 4: If accepted, return the Acceptance Sheeticon that will accompany your letter (PDF email attachment only – must contain signatures).

Step 5: Submit the VCCS Professional Grant Final Report Form (online only).


A combination of time and expenses is possible, with maximum funding for time at eight credits. Most time is funded at three credits. Summer funding is a flat $2,500. No proposals will be accepted that request time or budget reimbursement for work undertaken before or subsequent to the award period.

Awarded funds will be transferred to the colleges. For time awards, colleges will use the funds for adjunct replacement through the normal budget process. Faculty will coordinate time and grant specifics with their vice president and dean/supervisor. For reimbursement expenses, colleges will establish a budget account where faculty can be reimbursed for the expenditures related to fulfilling the objectives of the research.


Before You Submit

  1. Read through the entire grant application packet and instructions on this site.
  2. Discuss the idea for your proposal with colleagues, especially those who have applied for VCCS grants in the past, and with your supervisor.
  3. Prepare a draft application for review by your college grants officer. Note: Seven colleges are required to route their application through the grants office. Click hereicon for a list of college grant officers.
  4. Make it clear that what you are proposing is not considered part of your normal teaching and faculty duties.
  5. Be sure that items in the outcomes section have corresponding items in the methodology and assessment sections.
  6. Justify each budget item.
  7. For faculty and administrative international exchange-related projects, know about and, if possible, connect with the VCCS faculty exchange program.
  8. If you are developing courses or programs, demonstrate knowledge of, and connect your proposal with existing policies and structures such as curriculum committees, experimental courses, or existing repositories for learning objects such as MERLOT.
  9. If you have questions that cannot be answered locally, email the Office of Professional Development at
  10. Submit the online application.
  11. Put your name and the name of your college only on the cover page of your proposal and email a PDF to the Office of Professional Development.
  12. Once you have completed your grant project, you must file the final report of your project within designated time or you and your college will be asked to return the funds awarded.